Twist of events

As Uber & Bolt Resume In Tanzania, Drivers Are Disappointed

By  |  January 19, 2023

Months after negotiations, the Land and Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) of Tanzania, the East African country’s transport watchdog, has issued an order allowing ride-hailing services to collect up to 25 percent in commission fees from their partner drivers. 

Several months ago, the Tanzanian operations of Uber and Bolt were hampered by regulatory complications. LATRA ordered Uber and Bolt to redress their commission charges to 15 percent. As the directive became effective, unable to cope, Uber ceased its service in the country; Bolt switched fully to corporate-only rides. 

Following a few months of uncertainties on the landscape, the regulator disclosed that these ride-hailing giants would soon resume operations. The effort was in a bid to consider the problems faced by drivers who work with these platforms, especially as fuel prices remain on the high side. Plus, they complained about low earnings. 

The new commission fee rule, which became effective last Sunday, puts the drivers’ hopes for higher gains in jeopardy. Uber has officially resumed operations, reinstating its charges at [exactly] 25 percent. Bolt, which has since been going corporate, has revised to 20 percent. 

From the looks of it, the players are not satisfied with LATRA’s backtracking. 

In a press statement, Uber’s East and West Africa head of communications, Lorraine Onduru, said: “We welcome the new pricing order issued by the Land and Transport Regulatory Authority which we believe will significantly contribute to the growth and development of the ride-hailing industry in Tanzania”. 

“We have, since the pause, maintained our engagements with LATRA and other regulatory bodies in Tanzania as a show of our commitment to resume full operations in the market, providing drivers with an avenue to earn and riders, an enhanced mobility option,” she added. 

According to a Bolt spokesperson, on the other hand, its “efforts and engagements were aimed at ensuring an enabling regulatory environment for mobility services in Tanzania among drivers, vehicle owners, passengers, and ride-hailing operators. The overall objective was to develop the nascent ride-hailing sector in the market”.

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